An independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, DC

LlamaNotes

December 2020

A Mindful Approach

Debbie Norrris

The world is a stressful place, especially now. Faced with a global pandemic, many are dealing with health fears, some are facing financial struggles, and all are forced to cope with drastic disruptions to their familiar routines. Add a painful racial reckoning and heated political division to the mix, and most Americans would acknowledge that we are living in anxiety-provoking times. But if you happen to receive an email from Deborah Norris, Ph.D. ’72, you will see that she frames our current reality a bit differently.

Read her story

Up All Night

Naki Franklin

Meet Naki Franklin ’17, a senior at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and aspiring late-night comedy writer. After winning the internship of her dreams, Naki has lots to share about networking, social media, and how taking a risk might be the most rewarding choice a person can make.

Read her story

A Lifelong Connection

Rory Byrnes

Potomac has been important for Rory Byrnes ’01 since the day in 1988 when he walked from his McLean home to campus to begin kindergarten. His older brothers, Carter ’95 and Spencer ’98, were already students, and Rory quickly found a circle of friends and plenty of interesting things to do at school. In what seemed like no time at all, Potomac became his second home.

Read his story

Class Notes!

Typically, Llama Notes does not include Class Notes, but since we will not be publishing the next issue of The Term until spring, we wanted to make sure that our alumni can stay connected to their friends and classmates. 

This section would not be possible without the leadership of our class correspondents, who play a vital role in helping their classmates maintain a lifelong connection with Potomac. So when you get an email calling for news, please make it a priority! You can send your notes directly to your class correspondent, whose contact information is listed at the top of your class year. If no class correspondent is listed, click here to email. If your class does not have a class correspondent and you would like to fill that role, please contact Laura Miller, director of alumni relations.

Class Notes

Keep in Touch

Don't forget to provide us with your current postal mail and email addresses! To update your contact information, click here.

Tap Into the Potomac Alumni Network

Keep up with your classmates by logging in to the Alumni Center, where you can find information about fellow Potomac alums, update your directory information, and sign up for networking activities. These members-only resources are available solely to Potomac alumni.

On Campus

Teaching and Learning in a Pandemic: The Hybrid Approach

Teaching

Safely reopening during a pandemic? It’s a task many schools are unequipped to handle – one that not only requires dedicated teachers, the right technology, and carefully thought-out health and safety protocols, but also enough space to make physical distancing possible.

In addition, a successful reopening must include provisions for students continuing to learn at home for health reasons, even as many of their peers return to campus.  Read More...

Articulating Our Commitments

Tamisha Williams

In July, Potomac welcomed Tamisha Williams to its senior administration in the newly created role of director of equity and community initiatives. The addition of this position to the school’s leadership team reflects Potomac’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of its operations. An experienced DEI professional who previously served as dean of adult equity and inclusion at San Francisco’s Lick-Wilmerding High School, Tamisha is delighted to be at Potomac and has already had a significant impact.  Read More...

The Game’s Not Over

Erica Woda

For many Potomac students, one of the hardest things about this past spring was losing a full season of athletics after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As the school community adjusted to online classes, the leagues of which Potomac is a member -- the Mid-Atlantic Conference for boys sports and the Independent School League for girls sports – canceled all interscholastic competition for the spring season. Physical conditioning and skills practice continued virtually, but Potomac’s student-athletes missed practicing with their teammates and being able to put their skills and grit to the test in competition.  Read More...

So Much to Be Thankful for

2020 Thanksgiving Assembly

For many alumni, the annual Thanksgiving Assembly is a favorite Potomac memory. It’s a joyful event that gets everyone into the spirit of the holiday, bringing the community together in a celebration of gratitude.

Like so much else, this year’s Thanksgiving Assembly had to be reimagined because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But Potomac’s leaders were determined to incorporate the assembly’s traditional highlights in new ways, creating the same kind of happy celebration the community has long known.  Read More...

Alumni Updates


Losers Book

Bookmark It

The Alumni Book Fair Reception went virtual this year! On November 19, Louisa Thomas ’00 and Mary Pilon, the authors and editors of Losers: Dispatches from the Other Side of the Scoreboard, challenged alumni, parents, and faculty with the idea that “losing is not a phenomenon to be overlooked.” The evening was moderated by Potomac librarian Brian Parry and provided some valuable insights into the lessons that losing can teach us. Thank you, Louisa and Mary, for a powerful conversation!

If you are looking for a good read that's brimming with Potomac pride, check out these alumni-authored books!

Anne B

Career Advice from 
Anne Benveniste '03

Alumni from the classes of 1955 through 2016 spent an evening with Anne Benveniste ’03 as she debunked what she considers to be terrible career advice: “Follow your passion.” The workshop provided concrete steps that alumni can take to grow their careers in directions they love. Anne, who is the founder of The Career Studio, shared advice and insights on how to ask the right questions, lay groundwork for creating an action plan, and more.

Fall Games

2020 Fall Games
Went Virtual

Although we couldn’t be together on campus for Potomac’s traditional Alumni Fall Games, our community engaged in a variety of activities, like running, biking, walking, and more! The Alumni Office hosted a virtual Panther Prowl, a Peloton event, a HIIT class with Brent Locey ’04, and a yoga practice with Anne Krohn ’98. We also held our first-ever Trick Shot Challenge – and our students demonstrated some amazing moves! Thank you to James Bennett ’30, Celeste Bertuzzi ’27; Wells Black ’30, Lola Burrell ’29, Henry Feder ’30, Kerri Greene ’24, Jay White ’28, and Valerie Wu ’28 for sharing videos of their trick shots with us.

What's Happening


Calling All Foodies

Adam Platt

Want to know what the next culinary trends are? Curious about the life of a food critic? Join the Alumni Office on Thursday, December 10, 7:00-8:00 pm, for an evening with New York magazine restaurant critic and author Adam Platt ’73. Adam will share stories from his recent release, The Book of Eating: Adventures in Professional Gluttony. The virtual event will be moderated by travel writer Stirling Kelso Neff ’01, and all are welcome to attend.

You can register here. To purchase a copy of Adam’s new book, click here.

The Christmas Revels Goes Virtual

Revels

Kindle the spirit of the season and the comfort of “hearth and home” with the Winter Solstice Revels! This year, the glow may come from our devices rather than a flaming Yule log, but the warmth will be just as real. The show will feature traditional singalongs, beautiful performances by virtual choruses, the cheerful sound of the Washington Revels Brass, and a stunning rendition of the spiritual “My Lord What a Mornin'" by the Washington Revels Jubilee Voices.  Read More... 

Reunion 2021: Celebrating Classes Ending in '1 and '6

We look forward to celebrating milestone reunions for classes ending in ’1 and ’6 and connecting all of our Potomac alumni to one another during Reunion 2021, which will take place April 30-May 1. Planning is underway, and we will be offering the Potomac community opportunities to virtually (and safely) participate in lectures, workshops, cocktail hours, and more. If you are interested in getting involved, please email Laura Miller, director of alumni relations.

The AGC Needs You!

The Alumni Governing Council (AGC) Nominations Committee is seeking candidates to serve as council members for the upcoming term. The mission of the Alumni Association is to foster a sense of community among alumni and to cultivate relationships with other members of the community, including current students, current and past teachers and administrators, and current and past parents. We welcome the recommendations of the Potomac community as we seek to fill these important positions. Please contact Laura Miller, director of alumni relations, if you are interested or would like to recommend a fellow alum.